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A school dinner lady who rescued a seven-year-old female pupil from bullies has been suspended after telling the girl's parents the true horror of the ordeal.
Carol Hill dragged four boys away from Chloe Scott after discovering they had tied her to a fence and were whipping her with a skipping rope.
She later bumped into the girl's parents and began commiserating with them about what had happened.
While the couple had received a letter to say their child had been hurt, the school had withheld the true extent of her treatment - even though the bullies' parents had been called in to school to discuss the matter.
Mrs Hill has now been suspended after being accused by Great Tey Primary School, near Colchester in Essex, of breaching pupil confidentiality.
If found guilty of gross misconduct she could lose her job and would also be barred from other posts that involve working with children.
'If I am found guilty I lose my CRB [clean Criminal Records Bureau status] which means I cannot be a beaver leader or a youth leader and I am both,' said Mrs Hill, 60.
She was backed by Chloe's parents, Claire and David, who have now withdrawn their daughter and her younger brother Cameron, five, from the school, and contacted police about the incident.
'We back her totally. She did not realise we did not know all the facts. We should have done - we should have been called into the school,' said Mrs Scott, of Chappel, near Colchester.
Mrs Hill learned about the bullying last week when a pupil informed her what was happening.
Describing the scene when she rushed over to intervene, she said: 'She had eight knots around her wrists and had been whipped across the legs with a skipping rope.
'I took her back into the scool, along with four boys who had been seen with her. Two admitted it.'
Unknown to her, the school sent Chloe home with an accident report for her parents, which said she had been hurt by some other children and received treatment for marks on her right wrist and right leg.
Mrs Hill added: 'When I was at Beaver Scouts helping out, I saw Chloe's mum. 'As I was talking to her I said I was really sorry about what had happened and then it became clear she did not know the whole story.
'I had to tell her because she then realised there was more to it.'
Mrs Scott, who has two other sons, 12-year-old Joshua and one-year-old Oliver, said she was furious she and her husband had been left in the dark and had not been invited to the school to discuss what had happened.
'The headteacher had written a note saying Chloe had been hurt by some other children and she was sure she would tell me all about it but I should have been told the full story. 'I could not send Chloe back [to school] as I can only think about her being tied up.'
The school has refused to say what action has been taken against the bullies.
In a statement, headteacher Debbie Crabb said: 'We can confirm that an incident took place during lunchtime in school last week.
'The matter is being dealt with internally in accordance with our behavioural policy and all the relevant parties have been informed.
'It would not be appropriate to discuss this in any further detail.'
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